All-Time List of Canadian Transit Systems

by David A. Wyatt

Vancouver Region, British Columbia

British Columbia Electric Interurban

Westminster & Vancouver Tramway Company interurban Westminster and Vancouver Tramway Company (03 June 1891 - 13 April 1895)
electric interurban Incorporated 1890 (BC). Amalgamated in 1891 with the Westminster Street Railway Company (also inc. 1890) under the W&VTCo name. Limited service on the incomplete line began in June. Through service to Vancouver began 08 October 1891 (Ewert 1986). Merged with the Vancouver Electric Railway and Light Company and the Victoria Electric Railway and Lighting Company to form the CRy&LCo 1895.

Consolidated Railway and Light Company (13 April 1895 - 17 April 1896)
electric interurban Name changed to CRyCo 1896.

Consolidated Railway Company (17 April 1896 - 15 April 1897)
electric interurban Sold at bankruptcy to the BCER 1897.

British Columbia Electric Railway Company (15 April 1897 - 27 February 1958>)
electric interurban Incorporated 03 April 1897 (Imp). The Vancouver & Lulu Island Railway Company (Vancouver - Steveston via Marpole and Marpole - New Westminister), incorporated 1891 (BC) and acquired 31 August 1901 by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (steam operation began 30 June 1902), was leased and electrified by the BCE 1905. Electric service on the V&LIRy began 04 July 1905. The charter of the dormant Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Southern Railway Company (inc. 1906 Dom.) was acquired in 1910 for the purpose of building the BCE 's Fraser valley line. Freight service was dieselized during the 1950's and '60's, the last electric freight switching ended October 1970. (Ewert 1986, RFC). See also the company's Vancouver Island interurban line.

BCE interurban 1313 (RailPictures.Net/John F. Bromley coll.)

Last Passenger Runs by BCE Line

Burnaby Lake line (Vancouver - New Westminster)22 October 1953>
Central Park line (Vancouver - New Westminster)14 July 1954>
Vancouver - Marpole17 June 1952>
Marpole - New Westminster17 November 1956>
Marpole - Steveston27 February 1958>
New Westminster - Chilliwack30 September 1950>
Data source:RFC

Secondary Systems

Blue Funnel Motor Line [Vancouver] jitneys 1917 (CVA99-5131) Blue Funnel Motor Line (circa late 1915 - 1923)
The “jitney craze” affected the Vancouver - New Westminster interurban route much like the experience of several Canadian cities. By March 1915 there were about 40 jitneys operating in competition with the BCER between Vancouver and New Westminster. Various operators were noted in Canadian Railway & Marine World:

Eventually bylaws enforcing licencing, insurance, and maintenance standards in Vancouver and New Westminster helped to suppress the trade. (CR&MW 1915-1918, photo: City of Vancouver Archives).

Vancouver – Abbotsford – Chilliwack System

Fraser Valley Express (06 April 2015 - present)
Frequent commuter bus service connecting Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and Langley (metropolitan Vancouver) began operation in 2015. It is operated by contractor FirstCanada ULC and supported by BC Transit and the several municipalities served. (BC Transit website 2014).

Vancouver – Squamish System

Squamish Vancouver Shuttle (01 October 2013 - circa 2014?)
Operated by Heading North Recreation Inc. Weekdaily commuter bus service between Squamish and Vancouver. Single trip departs Squamish at 7:00am. Return trip departs Vancouver at 5:30pm. (website 2013). Website gone by August 2015.

Squamish Connector Transportation Services Ltd. (Spring 2014? - present)
Commuter bus service from Squamish to Vancouver (Squamish Chief 25 November 2015, website 2015). Company is co-owned by Angel Destination Management Services of West Vancouver and Heading North Recreation Inc. of Squamish.

Vancouver Regional Commuter Rail

WCX Train West Coast Express (01 November 1995 - present)
commuter rail BC Transit commuter rail service operating between Vancouver and Mission over the tracks of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Responsibility for the service transferred from BC Transit to TransLink (Vancouver urban system) 01 April 1999. An additional evening run operated by bus was introduced 07 September 1999. Buses operated by contractor Cantrail Coach Lines Ltd. (2008). By 2014 bus runs had grown to 5 per day (WCX). (photos West Coast Express, Alex Regiec).

West Coast Express/CanTrail Coach Lines TrainBus (Alex Regiec 2015 Aug 04)

Vehicle fleet6 locomotives,
44 coaches
Data source:WCX 2014

Miscellaneous Line

BCER express motor 1802 on the Stave Falls line On 20 December 1920 the BCER acquired the Stave Falls hydroelectric generating station from the Western Power Company. Included in the purchase was a railway between the dam at Stave Falls and the CPR at Ruskin, on the Fraser River. The line was electrified in 1922 and abandoned 04 December 1944. While traffic on the line consisted primarily of freight and company employees and guests, common carrier passenger service was provided.

Copyright ©1989-2018 David A. Wyatt. All Rights Reserved.
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The author is always interested in comments, corrections and further information. Please email to:
This page last modified: Wednesday, 03-Oct-2018 13:32:56 CDT